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College Hotline - Pac-12 reduces number of night football games (slightly), adds eSports,...

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, May 24, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    The Pac-12 spring meetings with chancellors and presidents concluded with no major news but a handful of notable developments (complete news release is below):

    *** Fines for court and field storming, beginning with $25,000 for first offense.

    *** eSports competition on Pac-12 Networks.

    *** A slight reduction in night football games.

    The last item might carry the most resonance with fans. It’s not a major reduction — as many as four games on the Pac-12 Networks that would have been played at 7 p.m. or later will be moved to new broadcast windows at 2:30 and 6 p.m.

    That overlaps with exclusive windows owned by ESPN and Fox and required modification of the current contracts. Exactly what the conference gave back in return, I’m not sure — could be a small amount of cash, could be a decrease in the number of national broadcasts, could be something else.

    The gesture is more important than the practical implications, because the practical implications could be minimal:

    We’re talking about a maximum of four games that would have started at night on the Pac12Nets will now start at 6 p.m. or earlier.

    So it could be that two games previously at night now start at 2:30 and two previously at night now start at 6 p.m. Or one starts at 2:30 and three start at 6.

    That’s not a major change, given the number of 7/7:30 kickoffs on ESPN/2 and FS1 — that inventory is not expected to see a reduction, by the way.

    But it’s something. The conference is listening to the fans, and its campuses.

    That’s good.

    Here’s the release (and if I get more info on the night game situation, I’ll pass it along).

    The Pac-12 CEO Group – made up of the presidents and chancellors of Pac-12 universities – has reviewed the Conference’s report on student-athletes time demands and authorized its release, the Conference reported today. Also during its annual Board meeting, the CEO Group took action to reduce night football games, added fines to the conference policy on court and field storming, and announced that Pac-12 Networks will commence eSports competitions in 2016-2017.

    The CEO Group has stressed the importance of rebalancing time demands of student-athletes as part of the overall effort to modernize intercollegiate athletics. The new report takes a comprehensive look at the issue, reviews recent national and Pac-12 surveys, synthesizes direct feedback from student-athletes gathered on a Commissioner-led listening tour of all 12 campuses, creates a list of best practices seen in action on Pac-12 campuses, and lays out several possible legislative solutions.

    From February to April of this year, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott visited all 12 universities and met with more than 250 student-athletes representing more than 30 sports.

    The tour reinforced that for the most part, Pac-12 student-athletes are very pleased with their college experience and their opportunity to compete athletically and succeed academically at the highest level. The tour also revealed many positive, collaborative practices taking place on Pac-12 campuses, and one goal coming out of this process is to share best practices both inside and outside of the Pac-12.

    The tour and surveys of student-athletes also uncovered some areas in which rule changes may be appropriate. The report outlines potential legislative solutions that the Pac-12 is considering in the form of NCAA Autonomy proposals, full Division I council governance proposals, Pac-12 Conference-specific rules or guidelines, and/or best practices.

    “Having our voices heard throughout this process has been so important, and I firmly believe that the Pac-12 is poised to make good decisions that prioritize student-athlete welfare,” said Pac-12 SAAC Chair and Pac-12 SALT member Rollins Stallworth, a football student-athlete at Stanford. “We want to compete at the highest level on and off the field, and I’m proud to be part of a conference that is making sure we have the time to do just that.”

    Night Football Games

    The presidents and chancellors approved a recommendation from the Pac-12 Council to modify the Conference’s TV agreements with ESPN and FOX and reduce the number of Pac-12 Networks Saturday night football games (start time of 7 p.m. or later). Under the modification, a Pac-12 Network game can now start either at 2:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. local and overlap with an ESPN or FOX exclusive TV window. This change is expected to reduce the number of Pac-12 Networks night games by as many as four contests.

    “The Pac-12 has some of the most loyal fans in college athletics and we appreciate our television partners working with us on this important issue for fans,” said Rob Mullens, University of Oregon athletic director. “The increased exposure and revenue from our contract with ESPN and FOX has been instrumental to our success, but we continue to work hard to minimize as much as possible the negative impact late start times have on our fans who travel great distances to see our teams in person.”

    Court and Field Storming

    The presidents and chancellors also approved a recommendation from the Pac-12 Council to add an institutional fine schedule to the Conference court and field storming policy.

    Starting in the 2016-17 academic year, fines will be applied to institutions as follows: $25,000 for first offense, $50,000 for a second offense, and $100,000 for a third offense.

    “The Pac-12 Council carefully considered this policy and its impact on our fans who loyally support our teams,” said Mike Williams, Director of Athletics at the University of California, Berkeley. “This enhanced policy underscores the importance our universities place on the safety and welfare of our student-athletes, officials and fans, and will allow us to educate staffs and fans on procedures going forward.”

    Pac-12 Networks & eSports

    Finally, following an internal review of the growing interest amongst Pac-12 students in competitive video gaming, the presidents and chancellors approved Pac-12 Networks to commence eSports competitions with Pac-12 universities this upcoming year. Teams from campuses will participate based on a specific game, and the competitions will include head-to-head matchups in studios as well as a tournament in conjunction with a Pac-12 championship event. The game titles and event formats are still to be determined, but will be announced in the coming months.

    Intercollegiate competition in egaming is in its initial stages, but Pac-12 universities are increasingly involved through passionate student groups competing in competitions in popular games. eSports is also closely tied to academic departments at Pac-12 universities such as computer science, visual and cinematic arts, engineering and others.

    “eSports is a natural fit for many of our universities located in the technology and media hubs of the country,” said Scott. “Pac-12 Networks’ commitment to innovation as well as its natural tie to our universities and established media platform make it the perfect organization to develop the framework for eSports intercollegiate competition.”

    The post Pac-12 reduces number of night football games (slightly), adds eSports, fines for court and field storming appeared first on College Hotline.

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    by Jon Wilner

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